Picture: 123RF/rawpixel
Picture: 123RF/rawpixel

SA’s investment in marketing communications stands at 2.7% of marketing spend related to turnover – just 0.2% lower than that of the UK and a healthy sign for SA’s marketing industry as a whole. This is according to the 2018 Agency Scope analysis, which analyses input from approximately 2,500 marketers in 12 countries globally. 

Johanna McDowell, SCOPEN partner and director for the UK and SA, says this is an indication of the amount marketers are prepared to commit to communications in a difficult market. Over the past two years of tracking spend in this sector, McDowell says the proportion of spending on digital has grown, which is good news. Not so good is that spend has not grown for agencies.

McDowell says that what marketers report during the face-to-face interviews that inform SCOPEN’s Agency Scope is often more credible than what is conveyed in the media. “As such, these answers help us to compare SA’s marketing spend against its global counterparts,” she says.

In the next round of research, the Agency Scope team will be updating information around what is being spent with integrated agencies that meet all communication needs versus specialist agencies.

The big take-out

According to SCOPEN’s Agency Scope, SA marketers are spending similar amounts to their UK counterparts, a positive sign that the industry is alive and kicking.

The number of chief marketing officers (CMOs) participating in Agency Scope 2017/2018 rose to 219, from just 70 in 2016, McDowell says, adding that this number will increase to 260 in the 2019 study. Online interviews are being conducted with 200 agency professionals. “This will provide marketers with a perspective that is even more comprehensive and transparent than before. We expect that the digital analysis will produce some surprises, given how rapidly this sector changes,” she says.

Traditional marketing may have more value than figures have suggested in recent years, even though it has been largely sidelined by digital during this time. “The jury is still out on whether digital translates to as many actual sales as some may think, but we look forward to sorting through the hype and bringing facts to the CMO’s desk,” McDowell says.

SCOPEN president and CEO César Vacchiano says that being on a par with the UK means SA marketers are putting their money where the action is.